National Theatre Wales is deeply shocked to receive news from Arts Council Wales that we have not been offered ongoing revenue funding from April 2024.
We are aware that we are not alone; many publicly-funded charities like ours and public sector bodies are facing funding cuts, both in Wales and UK-wide. We will work with partners and funders to develop a picture of what is possible for our charity going forwards.
The theatre we make places audiences – the people of Wales – at the heart of what we do. Our unique approach to collaborating with and involving communities in creating theatre has become globally renowned and our theatre productions have won international acclaim. During our first 12 years, we have connected with 331,000 live audience members; last year, we reached 2.5 million people digitally and 54% of our 34,000 audiences were children and young people.
We make positive impacts on the lives of all the individuals and communities we work with – from building confidence in self-expression and self-worth through to improved community cohesion and mental health. We collaborate with partners in the health, education and social justice sectors as a crucial tool in the delivery of their work.
We have been creating a nationwide community of theatre makers. Over 104,000 people across Wales have been involved in creating theatre projects with us through our award-winning community-based project, TEAM. We created jobs and employment opportunities for over 645 theatre makers in the last year. We have always invested in upskilling theatre makers: in 2022/23, we reached 6,500 people through over 80 training sessions, workshops and events focused on skills and professional development.
During this challenging time, the well-being of our staff and the theatre makers and communities we work with is paramount. This decision will impact every one of those people: reducing opportunities to engage with theatre, to gain creative employment and to tell the stories of Wales across the nation and to the world.
Whilst this news means that we will have to rethink our plans, we invite you to come and support us and see Circle of Fifths as we tour across Wales this autumn.